I want to share something incredible that happened to me a couple of weeks ago while I was in Florida.
I was on a boat near the jetties between Destin and Fort Walton when my family and I saw a lone dolphin swimming around. We had seen several pods that day that were checking out our boat, but this one was by itself and very curious about us. It kept swimming around the boat, coming close and looking right at us, and hovering. So, my mom and I, without really thinking much, grabbed a mask and snorkel and jumped into the crystal-clear water.
I really thought that the dolphin would just swim away as soon as we hit the water, but instead, it just stared right at us. I mean, we were literally no more than 10 feet away from it. And the three of us just floated in the water looking at each other. Then, it started showing off for us! It would turn its head sideways and look at us, roll over in the water, make a big smiley face, and click and squeak. My mom and I were just squealing through our snorkels. This was a live dolphin, out in the wild, playing with us.
Then, as if to make sure he was pleasing everyone in the boat as well, he suddenly swam down to the bottom (we were probably in 15-20 feet of water), shot back up and did a flip in the air. My mom and I at this point were on the opposite side of the boat from him, and we still saw him above the boat; that’s how high he jumped. My family threw their hands up and cheered for him. It was the coolest thing that has ever happened to me in Florida.
Of course, we didn’t try to touch or feed him. A man drove up on a jet ski and told us there is a huge fine for swimming with live dolphins, which sounded fishy to us, no pun intended. So, we actually asked the sheriffs that drove by on a boat later and they said that it was not true, you only get fined if you feed or harass them. The whole thing made my vacation. It was a once-in-a-lifetime event.